Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thanks-Christmas 2009 - Part II

A couple of things about Thanks-Christmas...yes, Karen was in the kitchen non-stop like Kim said in her comment...we were just teasing her anytime she left the kitchen for a few seconds.

Second, I'll post more about the t-shirts tomorrow....but, first, I had a few more pix to share regarding the FIRST ever Thanks-Christmas talent show!

Here are a few pix from the show and my comments about it!! :)

Ella started the night off by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for us. Good job, Ella!!

Emma played us a couple of songs. And, Anna told us jokes....although for some reason I don't have a picture of Anna. I think I was laughing too hard to remember to take pictures! I'm sorry, Anna!!

I think Amelia's talent was eating that night. :)

Then came the mother-daughters performance of the Jo Dee Messina song "I'm Alright"! It's a favorite to sing in the car!

Colby was mesmerized. I'm pretty sure if she was a bit older, she'd have been waving a lighter back and forth during their performance.

The grand finale!

The sisters team of Kori, Kim, and Kendall lip synched the Chipmunk's Christmas you see Alvin, Simon, and Theodore???

Theodore couldn't keep it together.

Karen did her "Edith Ann" performance....I almost pee'd my was the one where she explains to her mom that she did NOT give the dog her peanut butter sandwich. Karen can do the nasally voice and everything just like Lily Tomlin.
There were a few other planned performances, but once the guys saw the fierce competition, they flaked out. Myself, I performed a little rap song that I wrote about my brothers-in-law. And, no, I won't post the versus on this blog....but, if you buy me a glass of wine sometime (or a couple!), I might be convinced to perform it for you!!! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thanks-Christmas 2009

A few weeks ago, my family gathered at my sister Karen's house for the fifth annual Rankin family Thanks-Christmas...a 2-day affair where we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas all at once. There is good food, good fun, and much rolling of the eyes at each other!

I didn't take many pictures, but a few of my favorites are below!

Check back in tomorrow to see a few images of the FIRST annual Rankin family Thanks-Christmas talent show! hahahaha....said in an evil manner. :)

Colby was in heaven. There were so many people to read to her!

...and play with her! Cousins Ella, Emma, and Anna kept her busy the whole time we were there!

Pretty cousin Amelia with Aunt Karen!

Karen was worried that the Thanks-Christmas fo 2009 would be known as the year we didn't have corn pudding for dinner (what the heck!'s my FAVORITE!), but I think 2009 will go down as the year Karen avoided the kitchen by playing with all of her nieces and nephew!

My dad - in his usual pose.

Jacob was quite excited about this toy...I think it was a Handy Manny any case, it was the favorite toy among all the nieces and nephew. The tools bounce up and down to music in the toolchest.

Colby excited about her new VeggieTales CD!

But, not as excited as when she got her first baby doll from Aunt Karen.

And, then she opened up some books and we lost her for the rest of the evening. My little nerd. :)

My sister Kendall....with her boyfriend Caleb...who is also one of my husband's best friends. I never thought I'd see the day where "The Bivvie" was at one of my family dinners.

Anna trying on her new "Little House on the Prairie" hat.

Sidenote: Cydil, if you're reading, can you imagine the fun we would have had playing Little House on the Prairie in your back pasture if we'd had these hats!!!

I'm not sure what Scott was doing or saying, but I love the look on mom's face!

These are the types of pix you get when my husband gets a hold of my camera. 100's of pictures like this. I will protect this sister's identity. :)

Colby finding a more fun way to play with the gifts.

When we first got to Karen's, Colby hadn't slept but for 30 minutes all day and was a horrible wreck. She wasn't thrilled about being passed around; however, Karen sat her on her lap and said, "Colby, you need to know that you and I are going to be friends over the next two days and have lots of fun. Get used to the idea." And Colby did. We're not into coddling in my family.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Colby - 9 months+

Well, time has flown. We're less then 6 weeks away from Colby's first birthday, and I haven't even distributed her 9-month pictures to family yet. So, I finally sat down tonight and edited them and posted them to the proofing site. Whereas, when doing someone else's child's nine-month pictures, we go somewhere like a park or to a big open field, my poor child got her 9-month pix in our front yard in 10 minutes on a Sunday afternoon while her Dad was impatient with me because he wanted to take the dogs to the pond or go hunting or something (can't remember!). I really wanted to use the beautiful rocking chair her aunts got her for her baptismal gift, and I also really wanted to get a picture of her latest smile...for some reason, for the last month she's been scrunching her face all up when she smiles. I love it!

I've included that smile below. If you'd like to see the rest of Colby's 9-month pix, please go to, Clients secion, and use the password "Colby".

PS - Yes, I know I haven't posted much lately...I have TONS to post, but after Colby goes to bed at night, I've been trying to get everyone's family pix edited, ordered, and sent to them prior to Christmas....blogging was kind of put on the back burner...but I'll try to be better. I'm really almost done with fall orders!! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


A couple of months ago I got the most flattering email from someone that enjoyed my photography. She was wondering if she could bring her family up to our neck of the woods for an updated family picture...from St. Louis! I felt SO big-time! Maybe it was because she complimented my images...maybe it was because over the course of emailing I felt she 'got' any case, I started thinking about the fact that I wanted to get to St. Louis sometime in the fall to photograph one of my best friends' kids, and so I decided to make a weekend of it and come to her instead!

We talked back and forth over email about clothes, locations, etc, and when I arrived Saturday morning I was greeted by a group of four beautiful, doe-eyed kids. We started out at the park where the lighting was great and the fall foliage was even better, and then we headed to a downtown old brick building so that the older kids could have a bit of a more modern scene for a few fo their images! No matter where we were, I had a fabulous time...and I hope I get the chance to see them again!

Angie, thank you so much for sharing your family with me! You have beautiful, well-mannered, and VERY photogenic kids! I enjoyed getting to meet your whole family and can't wait to see you again in the future!

As always, a few of my favorites are below...and you can click here for a few more!


First, I just want to say how great the older sibs Jake and Hailey are with the twins. They herded...they chased...the cracked jokes to get them to smile. I would watch and it reminded me a lot of me and my younger sisters growing up. As soon as they get their driver's licenses, I'm going to start asking them to make the long drive up to babysit Colby! :)

It was hard to get Owen to stand still for just one second...there was SO MUCH to discover and explore at the park!

I love this picture of Abby! The unprompted little kid facial expressions are my favorites!

However, I love this one of her too....beautiful, slight's so simple and yet so sweet.

I think Angie is not going to be very happy with me over this image. Angie, you're going to have to watch Jake when he gets older! He is so darn handsome!!!!

And then there's beautiful Hailey. She has the most stunning eyes, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her funky purple glasses!!! I want her funky style!

Thanks for checking in!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


A few weeks ago, I met up with a new family in Altamont at the Ballard Nature Center for a beautiful fall photo shoot. I hadn't met them before...they had been referred to me by another client (Thank you, Andrea!!).

Everything was perfect...the weather...the colors on the trees...and the family itself. I cannot even tell you how much the camera loved this beautiful family!!! So much so that it took me a week longer then I'd hoped to get this session edited because I was honestly dealing with over 200 images that I loved.

This past weekend I was heading to Chicago for a workshop, and I honestly had the person sitting next to me on the train help me pick which ones to edit! "Which one do you like better....this one or that one?" I'd ask the young Asian student. "That one," she'd respond. "Her eyes are open slightly wider making them even bluer." "Good call," I'd reply.

So, between me and the college student, we finally pared it down. Life just isn't fair when you're beautiful AND so darn photogenic!

A few of my favorites are below...and a few more can be seen here!

J, J, A, and C, it was such a pleasure getting to meet all of you. Honestly, I can't even remember such an easy session! C & A were PROS!!! I hope you love the images HALF as much as I enjoyed meeting you!!!

Blessings! Kelly


C's eyes are unbelievable. They are crystal blue. The camera LOVES her eyes, and I love, love, love her beautiful red hair.

Big brother "A" got the whole posing thing. Each frame had a slightly different tilt of the head and look in the eyes. I started telling him he was ready for GQ. Sweetly, his dad explained to him what being "GQ" meant.

Ahhh...the ornery look. The look I love.

You can tell "C" and "A" really adore each other. All of these looks at each other were totally unprompted. I have a feeling, though, that in another five or ten years, it's not going to be the same story!

And, then you see the parents and you realize where the kids get their good looks!!! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009


Yes, the holidays are coming up fast....especially for my family. We celebrate my immediate family's Christmas at Thanksgiving...we call it "Thanks-Christmas"...with five kids in the family, holidays started to really get hectic as one by one we got married, moved out of state, etc. So, we decided to have our Christmas at Thanksgiving, which means I've been Christmas shopping now for over a month.

That also means that things like Christmas cards have been on my mind. But, I'm lucky in that department. Each year, I call my sister Kim, explain to her what I want my Christmas card to look like, say, etc., and she designs it and prints it for me. She's been doing this for several years, and now she does wedding invitations, custom birthday invites, and more.

So, this year, as we started talking about what I wanted my Christmas card to look like this year, she told me that she had designed a bunch of them ahead of time. I told her she should upload them to my site so that people like me (i.e. too busy/lazy to go to Walmart and look through their options and also too picky/snobby to have a card like everyone elses!) could order them from her.

So, if you'd like to take a gander at some of Kim's designs, go to my site and use the password "Christmas"....or email her at if you have a custom idea that you would like her to design. She'll work with you on your design, print them, and ship them to you....heck...she'll even print the addresses on the envelopes for you too! As an added bonus, she keeps track of who in what areas have ordered what card so that the two families don't end up with similar cards.

Also, I know there are a few people out there who still need to get their family portrait orders in! I'll be following up with you this week so that we can get those on the walls of your home prior to Thanksgiving! :) AND, I've been working my poor computer mouse to the bone the last two weeks editing pictures. To those that had family pictures taken in the last few weeks, your emails are coming to you in the next several days with your proofing galleries. Which also means, the blog has a lot to be posted!

And, because a post isn't as much fun without a few pictures, here are a few of my two favorite people. I'm up in Chicago at a workshop right now, but I'm excited to see these two tonight when I get home!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


A few weeks ago I met up with my good friend Del Rae to photograph her two little boys, Colton and Ben. After three years of toy tractors and tonka trucks, their world is going to change this winter with the addition of a little girl.

So, to celebrate their 'boyness' Del Rae gave me only one direction for their new portraits: "I want them to be playing...playing in the dirt and mud...just like my boys like to do."

So, three Saturdays ago, we met up and I had the perfect place for Ben and Colton to display their boyness. We met at a beautiful, babbling little brook (shoot...that description sounds girly!...but it was!!)...ok, let's call it a great stream that someday a young man would want to hunt at....and the boys did what they do best. They played, got dirty, and had a grand ol' time.

I heard through another of our friends that Del Rae was joking later that the boys couldn't stop talking about how I took them to play in the water...and that she was pretty sure they were now my boyfriends! ;)

Below are a few of my favorites. Click here to see a few more!

Thanks for checking in!

At this point, Ben hadn't quite warmed up yet, but I love the look on his face. It kind of says, "Mom, are you SURE it's OK for us to play here and get all dirty?" Plus, I LOVE the colors in the background of this picture.

Orneriness incarnate. Colton and I like to play a little game where I yell, "John Deere is the best!" And, he yells back, "John Deere is acky, Kelly!"

Ben has warmed up...and is having a great time.

I loved the boys' wellies! But, again, I was corrected that they're only wellies on girls...on boys they're boots! I still love them!

Too much darn fun.

One of my favorites of the two boys together.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have often joked that there are two men on this earth that I would like to stone:

1) The man who invented the hand air dryers in public bathrooms (no woman would have invented this...and plus, why are the patents always 'pending'?....haven't they been around for decades...are people actually arguing over who invented these???)

2) The man who thought of ESPN Classics....where every game is a 'good game'.

I have decided this week to add a third man to my little stoning party.

#3) The man who thought of releasing millions of Asian beatles to eliminate the supposed aphid problem in soybeans.

I am so tired of killing these bugs, vacuuming them up, them hitting my face as I walk outside, grabbing corpses found in Colby's hands.

Yes, these are three men I have issues with.


Monday, October 19, 2009


What do you get when you put a one-year-old in the middle of an open field? A little girl that runs like Phoebe.

You know what I'm referring to? That episode of "Friends" where Rachel won't run with Phoebe in Central Park because she runs so funny! I love that episode, but I also harbor a secret fear that I run like Phoebe.

In any case, while I didn't edit any of these pictures of little Miss Amelia (hard to get a frantically running 1YO in focus), my niece who celebrated her 1YO birthday a while ago, I had to post these pictures because they make me smile so much! I've had several laughs over these images!

If you'd like to see a few from Amelia's REAL birthday pix, click here.

Otherwise, I hope the below makes you smile!!